The holiday season is always a popular time to buy a TV, with many people looking for the perfect family gift. It has never been a better time to buy, with several new technologies hitting the market. Whether you're after a Full HD 1080p screen with all the latest features or something a little less fancy, there is something out there for everyone.
Sharp Aquos LC-37D33X — $1799
If 200Hz, 24p and LED backlighting mean nothing to you and you just want a basic panel for DVDs, TV and maybe some light gaming then check out the Sharp LC-37D33X. It's affordably priced and 37 inches is a good size for a small to medium lounge room.
It has a native resolution of 1366x768 meaning it is 720p capable. This is a good middle ground as it is still high definition but also does a good job with standard-definition content like DVDs. It performed quite well in our tests, making it a good budget purchase.
Check out the full review here: Sharp LC-37D33X
Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ800A — $2899
If plasma is more your thing you can't really go past Panasonic. It continues to put out some of the best units on the market and is a dominant force in this category. Offering deep blacks and great colours, plasmas are a good option for film lovers.
This model has an incredible 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which means its colours and blacks look amazing. It is Full HD too, so it will render any Blu-ray or HD gaming content wonderfully.
Check out the full review here: Panasonic VIERA TH-42PZ800A
Sony Bravia KDL-40Z4500
For sports fans and gamers alike, the Sony Bravia KDL-40Z4500's 200Hz Motion Flow mode will probably be appealing. 100Hz and 200Hz are just fancy ways of saying the image refreshes faster, which makes for smoother motion and a more realistic image.
We found earlier iterations of this technology had a detrimental impact on image quality, but companies have been steadily improving it in recent times and now it's at the point where it works pretty well. It takes a little getting used to, but anything that involves fast motion definitely looks better with it on. It doesn't hurt that this TV has great image quality in all other respects, too.
The other noteworthy thing about this unit is it can connect to your network via DLNA, allowing you to stream content from your PC without a third-party device. If that isn't cool we don't know what is.
Check out the full review here: Sony Bravia KDL40Z4500
If the idea of owning the macdaddy of LCD TVs appeals to you, then take a look at this Samsung behemoth. It offers up some of the best image quality we've seen and has a 52in screen — so it is large enough to be the envy of all your friends. Regardless of whether you watch sports, host film nights, play games or just enjoy a bit of live TV — once you go big you never go back.
It also sports a ton of features, including a built-in content library packed full of games and stories for the kids, workout routines and recipes. It is a bit of a gimmick in some ways, but it can be updated with new content later on via a USB stick, which will help keep it fresh. Like the Bravia mentioned before, this unit also has DLNA compatibility, so it can stream all your favourite programs from your home PC at no extra cost.
Check out the full review here: Samsung LA52A750